Plans for the N17 Milltown to Gortnagunned realignment scheme have taken a step forward with An Bord Pleanála’s ruling that an NIS must be prepared.
Galway County Council sought direction from An Bord Pleanála on whether the project required the preparation of a Natura Impact Statement and Environmental Impact Assessment.
In a decision dated April 23 of this year, the board said that an NIS must be prepared, but that an EIA report is not required for the realignment scheme.
The realignment scheme consists of roughly 3km of rural road between Milltown village and Gortnagunned, which will tied into an already upgraded stretch of the N17 at its northern end.
Aside from improving the width of the road, other works in the N17 realignment scheme will involve improvements to eight T-junctions, 36 direct access connections, replacing the drainage system leading into the River Clare, and protecting or diverting existing utility services.
An Bord Pleanála agreed with the Appropriate Assessment Screening Report prepared for the county council, which said that an NIS is needed due to the potential for impacts on the Lough Corrib Special Protection Area and Special Area of Conservation.
However, the board also ruled that an Environmental Impact Assessment report is not required as the project is not likely to have a significant impact on the environment.